I’m finishing my second book right now. A Palestinian man who wanted to become my protagonist told me that he liked the relationship between Nora and Ahmed and wanted me to expand on that. When I started to write from Nora’s point of view, the story just flowed. I was going to write Nora and Ahmed’s story from Nora’s point of view, but I felt too constrained by The Almond Tree so although it started that way, a completely different story about star-crossed lovers emerged. In my new story, I am not the protagonist, but I pulled a lot from my personal story in writing her.